News & events > European Museum of the Year & Council of Europe Prize 2017: Call Open
24 May 2016

European Museum of the Year & Council of Europe Prize 2017: Call Open

European Museum of the Year Award 2017
The European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA) and the Council of Europe Museum Prize were launched in 1977 under the auspices of the Council of Europe, with the aim of recognising excellence in the European museum scene and encouraging innovative processes in a museum world which then still took the more traditional view of focusing exclusively on collections rather than on their use for the benefit of society. Over the years, these schemes have had a positive influence on the lives of a number of museum professionals and have brought to centre stage small museums with highly innovative contents, which otherwise would not have received recognition at the European level. It has served to establish connections between museums of the East and West, North and South of Europe. Through the work of the European Museum Forum (EMF), which manages these awards, the scheme has also directed the attention of public authorities to initiatives originating in their own countries, some of which previously were almost neglected and not recognised at the level they deserved. The call for applications of the 2017 of the European Museum of the Year Award and the Council of Europe Museum Prize is now open. This is the 40th edition of these prestigious awards. Eligible museums include those that are new or have been substantially renovated or redeveloped recently. Museums or exhibitions opened for more than three years at the time of the application are not eligible. Information provided by the EMF also includes other award categories, as outlined below:

European Museum of the Year Award

This award goes to a museum which contributes most directly to attracting audiences and satisfying its visitors with unique atmosphere, imaginative interpretation and presentation, a creative approach to education and social responsibility.

The Council of Europe Museum Prize

The Council of Europe Museum Prize is a unique award intended to highlight the need to preserve and promote the European cultural heritage as a factor uniting the Council of Europe’s 47 member states. It involves recognition of the excellence displayed by the winning museums in the approach they take to museum work, while complying fully with the European Museum of the Year Award criteria, and helps to give added dynamism and variety to the European museum sector.

Kenneth Hudson Award

This is an award in honour of the founder of EMYA, Kenneth Hudson. The award goes to a museum, project or a group of people who have demonstrated the most unusual, daring and, perhaps, controversial achievement that challenges common perceptions of the role of museums in the society and carries forward the spirit of Kenneth Hudson. The Kenneth Hudson Award winner will be chosen by the EMF Board of Trustees, and will not necessarily be selected from the pool of applicants.

Silletto Prize

This prize is sponsored by the Silletto Foundation based in the Isle of Man and goes to a museum which has in the past three years demonstrated excellence in involving its local community in planning and developing museum and heritage projects or has attracted outstanding support from its work with volunteers with the goal to enhance the public quality of the museum.

Special Commendations

A number of special awards will also be given to museums that have developed a new and innovative aspect of their public service and from which other European museums can learn. In 2017, a Special Commendation for Sustainability in Museums will be offered by Meyvaert Glass Engineering. Other Special Commendations are open-ended. The call is open until 10 June 2016. For additional information, please visit